David Mabuza weathers spy-allegation storm

2014-12-03 06:00

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The spy allegations against Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza seem to boost his political standing among ANC structures rather than ruin his reputation.

The province’s ANC regions of Ehlanzeni, Bohlabela, Gert Sibande and Nkangala as well as the youth and women’s leagues undertook to support Mabuza’s bid for a third term as ANC provincial chairperson during a joint media briefing in Mbombela yesterday.

The briefing saw all chairpersons and secretaries of the structures uniting to defend Mabuza.

This comes after former Mpumalanga premier and treasurer-general Mathews Phosa said he received information suggesting that Mabuza could have been an apartheid spy and passed it on to the ANC leadership at Luthuli House via deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.

Mabuza has already indicated that he would sue Phosa for R10 million and consider criminal charges. Phosa said he only gave the information to the leadership to consider and had not said Mabuza was a spy.

The structures said the allegations were a thinly veiled attack on the ANC and part of disruptions that have been waged against Mabuza since he took over as chairperson in 2008 and became premier in 2009.

Bohlabela chairperson and Mpumalanga health MEC Gillion Mashego said: “We want to unambiguously and unilaterally inform people of Mpumalanga and the country that we support comrade DD Mabuza for a third term as provincial chairperson of the ANC. We will re-affirm this view at our PGC (provincial general council) that will sit soon.”

It is already known in the structures that Mabuza’s wish for a third term will be a springboard for him to launch his campaign for a top-six national executive committee position with united support from his province.

Mabuza is eyeing the position of chairperson or treasurer general position in 2019 but it is gradually emerging that he has also set his sights on the deputy presidency of the party.

The provincial structures did not however speak about Mabuza’s ambition for national office.

Gert Sibande chairperson and MEC for Safety and Security Vusi Shongwe said there was no former apartheid spy within the ranks of the Mpumalanga ANC structures.

“We’ve not come across an ANC leader who was a spy. We want to defend Mabuza not as an individual, but because he’s the face of the ANC. No ANC structure has been forcefully dragged to defend him,” said Shongwe.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to indicate if he will accede to Mabuza’s request to appoint a commission of inquiry into the matter.

Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj did not respond to voice and text messages left yesterday nor to written questions submitted on Thursday last week.

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